Working on a Charter Yacht: Why We Do It

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by Tash Pericic,

For the week of the 19th – 26th August 2017, Total Croatia Sailing’s Editor Tash Pericic took to the water, working as a hostess for the week aboard a luxury charter yacht and has been logging her experiences.

Rounding up the end of the week, it is finally time to get to the positives. If you have been following my logs you may have noticed that so far it seems as though I have only written about the how hard the job is, from the physical to the unexpected.

You may be wondering, why on earth would anyone do this job? Which is exactly why I saved the best ‘til last.

It is a difficult job, it is emotionally and physically taxing working on a boat for 4 – 5 months straight; on-call for others 24/7, adapting to a mixed-bag of personalities, wants and needs, dealing with difficult situations from fires onboard, injuries, illness… and, doing it all with a smile. The second that crew step out of their cabins around 6 am, we are on show. The hostess, in particular, is the ‘face’ of the boat – hostess, waitress, concierge, counsellor, entertainer… and has zero personal space or moments to her or himself.

Do we do it for the money? It helps. But trust me, for anyone who has ever done a job with no-love, you know just how difficult it is to motivate yourself to get out of bed and drag yourself to the office. Just imagine that you are now confined to your office, living and working with your colleagues in a small space and on-call 24/7, would you do it for a good salary? Probably not.

Why?

Because doing a job or anything in life without passion drains your ‘battery’ faster than leaving the lights on in your car overnight. So, here we come to the crux of my story – all crew who work on boats are just the right amount of ‘crazy’.

Crazy to put ourselves in a position that can be so demanding, but deep-down we all love it. Everyone has their reasons: for captains, it is about being at sea, for the chef it is about being able to cook what they want, when they want for a small, intimate group – rather than hundreds of people in a restaurant. For the deckhand, it is about ‘learning the ropes’ with hopes to progress in the industry and for most hostesses I know, it is because we are passionate about one or a combination of all aspects of the job – whether it is history, gastronomy, hospitality or organising events and excursions.

I worked in restaurants and hospitality for almost a decade and while, on the whole, there were more difficult shifts than not, it only took one moment of joy to wipe everything away – one great customer, one great service, that feeling that you are good at what you do and somehow made a difference in someone’s day. That is why I stayed with restaurants so long and it is the same reason for working as a hostess on a yacht.

There are positives, from a moment of peace first thing in the morning, sipping your coffee…

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Watching every sunset…

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Sharing a passion of Croatia with those who are interested, seeing people truly relax – maybe for the first time in months if not years, watching families spend precious time together – a full, uninterrupted week… and knowing that you were a part of facilitating a holiday that will stay in their memories for years to come.

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Hiking to the Monastery in Blato on island Brac with a family from South Africa

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Showing children around Hvar while the parents relaxed

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Creating special moments and memories for the guests, connecting in the process.

Visiting some of the most beautiful destinations the Croatian coast has to offer…

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Sailing!

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You learn to appreciate the small moments so much more and you grow a deeper understanding for human nature, developing empathy and ‘survival tools’ which flow into our daily lives.

So, there you have it; maybe not as glamorous a job as you all thought and while it is a difficult job, the benefits and sense of satisfaction far outweigh the stress. Oh, and I almost forgot one of the greatest benefits… it is nearing the season, which means at least a few months off to travel, relax, work on creative projects and recuperate to do it all again next year!

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